BOSTON

Mail Carrier Accused of Throwing Away Mail-in Ballots

City officials say a temporary mail carrier has been suspended and disciplined for allegedly throwing out ballots.

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Two Boston City Councilors are alleging that ballots were not delivered and a number of them were filled out and thrown out by a postal worker just days before Election Day.

“We learned about it from constituents calling us, saying that they requested a mail-in ballot and they never received it," At-large City Councilor Michael Flaherty said.

He said he was told that a temporary mail carrier has been suspended and disciplined for allegedly throwing out ballots.

Flaherty said the majority of the missing ballots are from District 2, Ward 6. And while it's unknown how many requested ballots have yet to be received by voters, he said the Elections Department told him voting numbers are off by 200 to 250 votes compared to the preliminary election.

“The post office is aware of this and has addressed it," he said. "Unfortunately, they haven’t notified the city. They have an affirmative responsibility to notify every individual and resident on that route, the Secretary of State's Office, as well as local law enforcement.”

“It’s criminal, it’s reckless. Men and women have fought for our country and died in many cases for the right for people to vote," said District 2 City Councilor Ed Flynn, a veteran himself who said many of his constituents are elderly and veterans.

“It is personal when I see veterans or persons with disabilities unable to cast their ballot and their vote is not counted," he added.

Attempts to reach the U.S. Postal Service on Saturday were unsuccessful.

Boston police directed calls to the postal inspector.

"The City of Boston Election Department has not heard from the U.S. Postal Service on this issue," the Election Department said in a statement Saturday. "The Boston Election Department has mailed out all requests for vote-by-mail ballots. If voters have not received their requested ballots, the City encourages them to make plans to vote on Election Day. Voters can also track their ballots on the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website."

Debra O'Malley, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State's Office, said the post office confirmed with them that mail had in fact been impacted but was recovered. They said the mail in question was not ballots. She said they had not heard from any affected voters confirming that they didn't receive ballots.

Flaherty said anyone who requested a mail-in ballot and hasn't received it yet is unlikely to get one in the mail in time for Election Day and they should make arrangements to vote on Tuesday.

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